Drake Closes Spring Campaign At MVC Women's Golf Championship
The Drake women’s golf team draws its spring campaign to a close this week as the Bulldogs visit Springfield, Ill., for the Missouri Valley Conference Championship this Sunday (April 20) through Tuesday (April 22).
The 54-hole event hosted by Bradley at the Panther Creek Country Club will utilize tee times each of the tournament’s three days starting at 9:00 a.m.
The 10-team field includes: Bradley, Drake, Evansville, Illinois State, Indiana State, Loyola, Missouri State, Northern Iowa, Southern Illinois and Wichita State.
A LOOK BACK
Freshman Arianna Gastelum (Chula Vista, Calif.) fired a final-round 77 to direct Drake to a sixth-placing showing at the Indiana State Spring Invitational this past Monday (April 14).
The Bulldogs concluded the 36-hole tournament with a 640 (316-324) scorecard, while Gastelum collected a seventh-place finish with a 154 total.
Firing identical 162 tournament totals to share 23rd-place was junior Danielle Brooks (Red Wing, Minn.) and sophomore Katie Clausen (Hinton, Iowa). The Drake duo each shot an 82 over the final 18 holes.
Senior Hadley Jennings (Trenton, Mo.) rounded out the Bulldogs’ efforts registering an 83 to tie for 34th place with a 36-hole score of 164.
DRAKE RESULTS: Arianna Gastelum (77-77=154/7th), Danielle Brooks (79-82=161/T-23rd), Katie Clausen (79-82=161/T-23rd) and Hadley Jennings (81-83=164/T-34th).
A YEAR AGO
Chelsey Falk closed out her Drake women’s golf career in style shooting a 79 during the final round of the Missouri Valley Conference Championship on April 23, 2013, at The Club at Porto Cima in Sunrise, Mo., to earn a ninth-place finish.
As a team, the Bulldogs recorded a score of 353 over the final 18 holes in cold and rainy conditions to conclude their three-day effort with a tournament total of 1,049 (352-344-353).
By virtue of her finish, Falk collected top-18 flag honors with a 54-hole mark of 244 (82-83-79). Only four golfers turned in a lower score over the final 18 holes than did Falk.
Hadley Jennings (Trenton, Mo.) carded a final-round 85 to wrap up her tournament with a 254 (89-80-85) score, good for a tie for 26th place.
Danielle Brooks, Katie Clausen and Ashley Brooks (Red Wing, Minn.) rounded out Drake’s efforts at the MVC Championship with 39th-, 45th- and 48th-place finishes. The trio owned tournament scores of 268 (88-88-92), 287 (93-93-101) and 299 (101-101-97), respectively.
DRAKE RESULTS: Chelsey Falk (82-83-79=244/T-9th), Hadley Jennings (89-80-85=254/T-26th), Danielle Brooks (88-88-92=268/39th), Katie Clausen (93-93-101=287/45th) and Ashley Brooks (101-101-97=299/48th).
• This week’s Missouri Valley Conference Championship marks the final collegiate rounds for senior Hadley Jennings. During her four-year career, Jennings owns an 80.3 scoring average across 111 rounds, including a career-low 72 at the Redbird Invitational this past fall. In MVC Championship play, she has registered an 80.3 scoring average.
• Katie Clausen equaled a career-low round firing a 79 in first-day action at the Indiana State Spring Invitational.
• With every tournament the Bulldogs have competed in this spring the trio of Danielle Brooks, Sarah Browning (Midhurst, Ontario) and Arianna Gastelum has shown improvement. Each has equaled or lowered their cumulative scorecards from the previous tournament.
• As a team, the Bulldogs carded their best score of the spring (315) during the second round of the Monterey Bay Invitational on March 21.
• Drake has recorded 15 rounds of 79 or lower this spring through the Bulldogs’ efforts at the Indiana State Spring Invitational. Jennings owns six of the 15 rounds of 79 or better, while Danielle Brooks and Gastelum have posted three apiece, Browning two and Clausen one.
• Jennings leads Drake with a 79.8 scoring average this spring. She is followed by Browning (82.2), Danielle Brooks (82.5), Gastelum (81.8), Katie Clausen (86.3) and Ashley Brooks (90.0).
• Jennings leads the Bulldogs with a team-best 15 rounds in the 70’s this season. Danielle Brooks nearly matched her efforts firing 13 rounds in the 70’s.
• Jennings recorded the Bulldogs’ low round of the year, shooting a 72 to open the Redbird Invitational.
• As a team, the Bulldogs’ best round came over the first 18 holes of the Redbird Invitational as Drake carded a 300.
• Two Drake players enter play at the Missouri Valley Conference Championship with scoring averages in the 70’s this season. Jennings leads the way with a team-low 78.6, followed by Gastelum (79.7).
EXPERIENCED SQUAD RETURNS FOR DRAKE
The Bulldogs return an experienced squad this season as senior Hadley Jennings, junior Danielle Brooks and sophomore Katie Clausen played in all 10 tournaments for Drake a year ago, while junior Ashley Brooks appeared in eight events. Added to the mix this season is a pair of freshmen in Sarah Browning and Arianna Gastelum. Rounding out the squad is redshirt junior Cristina Bowery (Carmel, Calif.).
DRAKE HEAD COACH LEANNE SMITH
Leanne Smith is in her fourth season as head women’s golf coach for the Bulldogs after serving as an assistant coach with the Drake men’s and women’s golf programs from 2006-10.
This past season, Drake earned top-10 finishes in six of the 10 tournaments the Bulldogs played in. Injuries to Kimmy Askelson and Cristina Bowery altered the lineup for Smith allowing her to provide valuable playing experience to her newcomers. Hadley Jennings registered a team-best 78.9 scoring average over 30 rounds, while Chelsey Falk and Danielle Brooks posted 80.0 and 81.7 scoring averages, respectively, in 30 rounds apiece.
Falk closed out her Drake women’s golf career in style shooting a 79 during the final round of the MVC Championship to earn a ninth-place finish. By virtue of her showing, Falk collected top-18 flag honors with a 54-hole mark of 244 (82-83-79). Only four golfers turned in a lower score over the final 18 holes than did Falk.
The Bulldogs garnered 42 rounds in the 70’s this fall, including a team-best performance from Jennings scoring 79 or better in a team-best 17 rounds during the season.
Off the course, Jennings garnered first-team MVC Scholar-Athlete accolades for the first time.
In 2012, Drake turned in top-10 finishes in six of its 10 tournament appearances. Smith guided the Bulldogs through a campaign in which Drake was challenged by injuries, including its top-scoring individual, Askelson, who was lost due to injury.
Askelson directed the Bulldogs with a team-low 79.7 scoring average in 12 rounds, while Jennings turned in an 80.1 average in 28 rounds.
In her initial campaign leading the Drake program she guided the Bulldogs to four top-six finishes, including three during the spring season.
Michelle Mathwick and Falk paced Drake, registering two-round totals of 155 to finish tied for 14th at the State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Championship. By virtue of her top-18 finish; Jennings joined the duo in receiving one of the coveted tournament flags given to the top-18 individuals in the standings.
Off the course, Mathwick, Jennings and Kaitlyn Mauk were named to the National Golf Coaches Association All-American Scholar-Athlete team, while Mathwick was selected as a first-team All-MVC Scholar-Athlete honoree.
Mathwick paced the Bulldogs in 2011 with a team-best 78.1 scoring average.
In eight years, Drake has scored six All-American Scholars in Katie Clausen (2013), Jennings (2011, 2012, 2013), Olivia Lansing (2008, 2009), Michelle Mathwick (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011), Kaitlyn Mauk (2011) and Elena Vukmir (2008,2009).
Lansing also garnered All-MVC medalist honors in 2008 and 2010, while earning an at-large berth in the 2010 NCAA Central Regional.
Smith, a Creston, Iowa, native was a four-year letterwinner at Iowa State, earning Big 12 Academic All-Conference honors in 2002 and 2003. She earned a bachelor of science degree in marketing, with a coaching minor, in 2004. She later added an MBA from Drake in 2009.
Smith played in the U.S. Amateur in 2001 and 2004 as well as the 2004 U.S. Women’s Public Links Championship. She won the Des Moines Women’s City Tournament in 2002 and 2004 and finished runner-up in the 2009 Iowa Women’s Amateur Golf Championship and placed third in 2012.
Smith turned pro in November of 2005 and played in the Futures Tour for two years.
Leanne and her husband, Russ, have two daughters, Adelaide and Eva, and one son, Graham.
The Missouri Valley Conference Championship concludes the spring campaign for Drake.